The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele says CBN in the next five years, will ensure it works towards repositioning the Nigerian economy through diversification of various sectors.
The pledge was coming after the Nigeria Senate on confirmed Emefiele for a second term in office as CBN Governor, starting June 3.
Emefiele said the CBN in the next phase of his administration would consolidate on already existing policies.
He explained that the apex financial body will channel “efforts towards promoting price and monetary stability; exchange rate stability; financial system stability as well as our efforts to spur growth through our development finance interventions.”
The CBN Governor also revealed that part of what is contained within the framework of this policy thrust is “policies geared towards job creation; reducing the high level of Treasury Bill rates; improving access to credit for MSMEs; deepening our intervention program in the Agricultural Sector; building a robust payment system infrastructure that will help drive inclusion; in addition to key macroeconomic concerns such as exchange rate stability; financial system stability and maintaining a strong external reserve.”
Emefiele also disclosed that the CBN is working to reduce the rate of inflation by eliminating the over-dependence of the country on oil exports and proceeds.
“Given Nigeria’s dependence on crude oil revenues for close to 86 per cent of our foreign exchange earnings and over 60 per cent of government expenditure; the drop-in prices led to heightened inflationary pressures; depreciation of our exchange rate; a significant drop in our external reserves; and eventually, a recession set in during the 2nd Quarter of 2016,” the statement reads.
Some of the major policies undertaken by the apex bank in the last five years included the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme. It aimed at increasing the country’s local food production; as well as conserving the foreign reserves.
The CBN took the decision to also ban 41 items from accessing foreign exchange through official routes to encourage local production of the items; and simultaneously conserve the nation’s depleting foreign reserves.
Since then, the CBN had raised the number of items affected on the list to 43. This, with the inclusion of fertilizer and textile products.
Some of the items not valid for foreign exchange at the Nigerian window included rice, cement, margarine, palm produce, beef, vegetables, poultry and eggs. As well as private aeroplanes, wooden doors and Iron rods, among others.
The CBN also introduced the multiple foreign exchange system, which led to the creation of the Inter-bank/Wholesale; Invisible; Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs); and the Investors/Exporters’ windows.
Also, in 2018, the CBN signed a bilateral currency swap agreement with the People’s Republic of China worth about 2.5 billion dollars.
The currency swap agreement was designed to aid trade transactions between China and Nigeria; and also remove the need to first source for U.S. Dollars before payments for transactions involving the two countries.
The CBN through the Banker’ Committee and in collaboration with all banks in Nigeria also inaugurated a centralised biometric identification system for the banking industry tagged: “Bank Verification Number (BVN)”.